A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
It’s difficult to talk about this American election without somebody going off the deep end. People all over the world have drawn their own Clinton/Trump battle lines and are defeating them to the death. Plus, from what I’ve seen in my own country, neither side is taking any prisoners and both sides are shooting the wounded. Nobody on this planet is indifferent to what’s going to happen in America today. This is full contact politics. and it’s not for the faint of heart.
However, this is America’s Election Day and we need to remember a few things before tearing our hair out, shooting our mouth off or declaring the Antichrist has risen and the Apocalypse is upon us.
1 — These are Americans. They’re loud, they’re noisy, they’re brassy, and they’re rude to each other — but they don’t mean anything by it. Most of the shouting done during an election is just rah! rah! rah! from the cheap seats. It’s not serious. The time to take Americans seriously is when they’re not shouting at each other. (Remember what happened when they quit calling George III names?)
2 — Americans are not as dumb as the rest of the world thinks they are. The stereotypical redneck from Rubberboot, Arkansas is funny — to a point. However, remember that Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Disney — and a whole lot more — are all American companies, fueled by American ideas. This election might look a bit hillbilly from the outside, but most Americans know what’s at stake and are making their choice accordingly.
3 — The President of the United States doesn’t have as much power as a lot of people think. The beauty of the American system is that each one of the three branches of government keeps a wary eye on the other two branches — so nobody really steps out of line. Rhetoric is easy, and all candidates talk a good fight (see #1) but the President of the United States is not a monarch, a dictator or even a pro-consul, and once they’re in the Oval office, they find that out — very quickly.
4 — The sun is going to come up tomorrow — just the same way it did the day after Lincoln was elected, or the morning after Teddy Roosevelt was sworn into office, or even after George W. Bush won The Battle of the Hanging Chads in 2000. (FYI, every one of those events was labelled the end of the world — at the time.)
This is our time, and regardless of who wins today or what the various media outlets say about it, it’s not going to be the end of the world. However, just one more word of advice: buckle up, boys and girls! The next four years are going to be interesting.